Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stayed up Late

After a trip to the chiropractor on Thursday and a good night's sleep, I stayed up late Friday and focused. Remember? Focus = Finishes
Then I got up early this morning and was quilting before I even had my coffee!
I finally quilted a few quilts for my friend who spends the summers in the hot Okanogan. Since she wasn't in a hurry, neither was I. And then I just had to get things done. M is keeping this for herself, it's a nice little lap quilt.
I wanted the quilting to show up and the back is black with bunches of pink roses, so I used a nice bright pink cotton thread. I'm very happy how this turned out.
This quilt has a history. It was hand quilted at one time, then it got washed in water that was too hot, and a washer cycle that felted the wool batting. Now it's machine quilted with Hobbs 80/20.
I used a bronze colored metallic colored thread and the back is flannel. It's going to be a very cosy quilt this winter.
Update on my Beyond the Cherry Tree, here is block 11.
and here is block 13.
Now to start on block 12. I've got 13 blocks finished, one prepped, and the cherries for the border all ready to go.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Unexpected Day

I went to bed last night in my 40's and woke up feeling like I was in my 80's.  Everything ached, from my big toe to my head. Having no idea why I was feeling like this, I went back to sleep, but an extra hour didn't seem to change anything, so I called in sick.  I never do this, I figure with life and unexpected crap that happens, that makes up for sick days but today, I just couldn't do it.  I went back to bed and have generally lazed around.
Now I'm sure you are all thinking, "oh, a sick day = quilting day"  Let me tell ya, I just can't seem to move without something aching, so I've spent most of the day catching up on my tv.  I managed to pin a few rows of my Pink Ribbon, but didn't sew a stitch on it.
I also had Block 13 prepped for my Beyond the Cherry Tree. I'd gotten the stems stitched down last night while I was getting the oil changed on my car, and today, well, I got one piece stitched.
I know I'm going to have to get out of my pj's, I can't walk the dog dressed like that! But tomorrow I'm sure I'll be feeling better, maybe it's just "one of those days".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Overcoming Fears

I love applique, all methods. I love learning new ways to applique, the more techniques, the better equipped I am for any project. But I've always had this fear of reverse applique. Ohhh, that was for the really good appliquer's, not me. 

So as I've worked along on my Beyond the Cherry Tree, I've appliqued on top of things instead of doing the reverse method.  This came to a halt when I got to this block.
 I took the plunge...........hey, this isn't so hard.  What was I so afraid of?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Sunday Drive

This weekend summer finally arrived to the Pacific NW.  I spent Sat in my pj's but today was a busy day.  My sister picked me up at 10 am and we hit the road to celebrate my birthday (belated).  We took her car, it's a sporty little rag top that really hums along. Our day started with a few stops in Bellingham, one being a yarn shop.  She is a knitter extrordinaire so I bought 2 balls of yarn for her to knit me a hat.  I love hats, you can't have too many!
Good thing we didn't stop at the quilt shop, she might have bought some fabric and thought she would end up with a quilt!
Then with the top down, our sunglasses on, we headed down Chuckanut Drive. You pass state parks, lush forests, hiking trails and peek a boo ocean views. We drove as far as The Oyster Bar and stopped here for lunch.

What a view!
We sat outside on the deck and these are the views. Simply life doesn't get better than this!
Here is my big sister, she's a cutie patutie!
We ended the day in Fairhaven at Colophon's Ice Cream, eating ice cream, listening to bluegrass music in the plaza out back and enjoying the beautiful sunshine. We really have been lacking in our Vitamin D!
Hope your day was sunny and fun!

Mona's Quilt

I gave a sneak peek and here is the finished quilt.  I was working on it Friday night when I got a phone call from an old friend who was in town.  Her Fri night plans fell through and although we planned to meet up on Sat, I stopped quilting, jumped in my car and met her for tea.  There's never enough time when you visit with old friends.  Today she is heading east, as they start the return trip to Winnipeg and I hit the studio to finish this quilt.
 Its hard to see the quilting, as the fabrics are so soft and romantic.  I cross hatched the blocks, did a ribbon in the block border and feathers in the sashing.  The setting squares are cross hatched and a wavy line is stitched on the border.
 The outer border is done with a curly feather.
 All the pictures enlarge by clicking on them, here you can see the back and the border.

After taking this off my longarm and boxing them up to be returned, I did a little more on my Pink Ribbon

It's getting there. The pattern is 22 rows and I've got 6 all together and 6 more laid out. Over 1/2 way to the bottom!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It Just Hit Me

I was getting ready to walk out the door to work one morning this week.  I stopped for a second to double check how much I had progressed on the hand quilting on my Lib Log Cabin.  I went to the door and came to the realization that I HAVE to finish a few pieces before I start any new projects.  A 9 patch on point in Red and White is screaming to get out of me, an applique pattern with 1000+ cherries sits on my kitchen counter, I've got projects in bags and boxes, drawers and baskets.  It's time to stick with a project and see it through.
  1. Red and White Blooming Pineapples
  2. Welcome Banner
  3. CW 9 patch Sisters Choice
  4. Imagine Pink Ribbon
  5. 4 patch Pansies
  6. One Block Wonder
  7. Original Sampler
And I could continue on............... These are just a few of the machine pieced projects that I know are crying to be finished. Then there's the box of tops that need quilted, the patterns crying to get out of the drawers.....Oh, that's a whole other post!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here are a couple of pictures of a very pretty quilt.  It's not mine......  :-(

She wanted it quilted with pink, that's all she asked.  We decided on x hatching as that is such a nice treatment for embroidered blocks.
I think the ribbon makes it so feminine.  The feathers were hearts at first, I slept on it, and then got up close and personal with my seam ripper.  Now there are feathers in the sashing, and I'm very happy with that decision.  Five minutes of quilting is a long time of unquilting, but sometimes you just gotta go with the best option. 
I'll post some full pictures when I'm finished.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keeping on...

I managed to finish Block 16 of Beyond the Cherry Tree BOM.

Now I've prepped Blocks 11, 12 and 13 with their vines. 

It's a project I'm still enjoying, I just got a bit sidetracked with other hand work this past few months.  I'm going to stay the course, as this quilt is going on my bed one day!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mini Quilt

This is a mini version of a pattern called Surrounded by Four Paws Quilting  I made a full size quilt, but it sold before I even got it off my longarm.  This is one of my favorite patterns, I made a second one in greens and creams. 
24" x 30"
I'm loved this little mini and just got it back from a quilt shop.  I'm going to send it in to Temecula Quilt shop's Red and White virtual show.  This shop is one that I'd love to visit!
Road trip anyone?  hehehe

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Passed!

Back in April I was away for a week of classes. It involved a test and then a exhibit that I had 2 months to complete and submit. I got it mailed off with only days left in the 2 months. Today I got word that everything was accepted and I've become certified in my position at work!

Our insurance agent sent me these congratulatory flowers, how generous of them. They are beautiful. I'm so relieved that everything was accepted. Now I focus on my daily job and work towards keeping my certification.

Mail Call

I have to admit, I'm very lazy when it comes to picking up my mail. I sometimes only get it once a week. In fact, the mailman was delivering the mail one time when I went for my weekly pick up and he asked me how much I traveled for work! hehehe, I told him I'm just a slacker when it comes to mail. Look what he brought me this weekend!
I didn't go to Sisters, but my gal pal stood in the line ups and bought me goodies. Thank you PK. You're the best.
Don't you love the graphics on the bag and mug? Birds are so trendy right now!
This next item came across the country from NYC. I saw this fabric when I was there for the Red & White show in March, but I did not leave any room in my suitcase. That was a self imposed shopping restriction I placed on myself. So last week I just called with a credit card and ordered this! It's 60" wide and will be perfect for the back of my pink ribbon quilt.
Now to get the top all together!

p.s. The recipe for the muffins from the previous post is AMAZING!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

This and That + a Recipe

Sat was my Applique Society meeting, aka TAS.  I joined this group  a year ago, and I have to say, it's the best group.  I always learn something from one of the members and the skill level in the group is amazing. If you don't have a group in your area, why not start one?  I got a few more grapes sewn on Block #16, I'm almost finished!
I'm still looking for the sunshine. Just when my daisies have started to bloom, the rains came and beat them down. Here are a few I picked for my kitchen table.
I also picked some fresh rhubarb and made a recipe from My Yellow Farmhouse.  OMG, they are fabulous.
I'll take this batch over to my gal pal's for coffee this morning.  Her mom passed away in May after a 6 month battle trying to recover from heart surgery.  The memorial is at her house, so a bunch of us will arrive early to help make sandwiches.  This isn't just anyone, this is my gal pal that I met in Grade 2, back in 1969.  If I wasn't at her house, then she was at mine.  We were inseparable growing up.  Aside from my own family, I've known this family longer than anyone else. It's kind of like loosing my mom all over again. The evolution of life.  But we will all be there to support our friend, that's what we do.   I'm blessed to have such an amazing group of girlfriends, through thick and thin, good and bad, we've stuck together forever. 
Thanks for stopping by today, take time to smell the roses!
Happy Birthday DP

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Christmas in July

This smart piecer will be prepared for the holiday season, unlike a quilter I know *wink*.  I am always in the moment, but maybe my red & cream Pineapple Blossom will be finished for the Christmas season.

Speaking of that, Lori over at Humble Quilts has started down a Red &White path and I thought I might stroll with her.  I'm thinking a 9 patch on point; Kona Real Red and Natural may just be the ticket for this project.

I've got to keep my head down and focus on my longarm quilts for customers, that will be my priority these next few weeks.  Quilts come in spurts and I don't like having someone's top for very long.  This one belongs with the Christmas Applique, and they both will be heading back to Idaho this week. It's so pretty and feminine.
I managed to slip a table runner on my longarm inbetween these two quilts. Now to turn and hand sew the binding. I'm hoping to have it finished so I can gift it on Sunday.

I love this feathery pattern, it's one of my favorites.

I have a yard guy. Yup, my lawn is getting mowed by someone else.  He just shows up, mows and edges, picks up his money and shows up two weeks later.  That way, I can come home from work, head right to my studio and look out at my freshly mowed lawn and quilt guilt free.  Life is good!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Stitching with Friends

Last night my friend L came over and we did some hand work.  Some of that work included hand to mouth to enjoy this delicious Raspberry Crisp, hot from the oven with whipped cream!
OK, I didn't get a before photo!

I have two projects that I'm doing by hand.  One is this, Block 16, from BTCT. No I don't have 15 blocks all done, I think I have 11, but I jumped to this one because I had the purple circles all done ahead of the block.  I do have a couple others prepped, so I'm ready to move to the next one as soon as I finish this one.

I'm also hand quilting this little number.  I know you've all seen it before, I'm just saying, "it's in my pile of current hand work"  I've got 5 of the 9 blocks quilted, so I'm making headway!  I've tried to work on this every night before going to bed, even if it's just for 15 minutes.  Every bit helps.

Tonight I'll be back at the longarm, finishing up a Christmas quilt for M. It's super cute, photos to follow.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July Bounty

Every second day I go out to my garden and pick my raspberries. It was about 8pm when I got home Monday, 7:30 Tuesday night and today I was packed up and ready to exit at 4:30 sharp. I got out by 4:45, so that wasn't too bad. Here is my bounty from today.  This will be the bottom of a hot crumble that I will serve tomorrow evening when my friend L comes over for some gabbing and sewing.
This made it easy to make dinner. I love raspberries, they are probably my favorite berry. Add a little whipped cream and "oh my".
A few flower pics as my garden has now started to bloom. It still has a few more weeks before it becomes something more than splashes of color amongst the green.
These pansies are super cute.
This is the front corner of my flower bed, so it looks pretty right now,  I have lots more that will come into bloom, we just need more than 2 days of sun at a time.
Now I'm off to the studio, I'm working on a Christmas quilt for a customer, and the way I've been going, well, lets just say I want to get it back to her before the season!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Powering Through my Pinks.

I kept my head down and made great headway.  This is easy sewing and trimming, it's just time.  Here are 200 1/2 sq triangles,

90+ 4 patches

and 140+ solid squares.

 I've also got "Imagine" put together and cut down to the right size.  I need to work on making my letters a little bit smaller!

 I have the pattern sketched out on graph paper, so that makes putting it all on the design wall easier. I can only put the top 1/2 together  and then I have to stitch this up to make room for the bottom half of the pattern.

And here is the start of the design on my wall.

I've made more pieces than I need for this top and I do that for two reasons.  Now I can play with placement of prints and values AND I've already got a start on next years raffle quilt.  Knowing what you need in advance is a big help and with all the beautiful pinks that I have been gifted, I will keep all this together in a box.  When I just want some easy sewing, I can pull out a few pieces, make a few blocks and put it back.  Then I"ll be that much closer to the next top, and there will be plenty of pink tops coming from this gift that will keep on.